I’m not too fond of moving. Yeah. It’s a real hassle. Not in the I’m-too-lazy-to-get-up-and-move way but in the I’m a cripple way.
Don’t ‘ooh’ and ‘aww’ for me. I neither want nor need your pity. It’s something I’ve become accustomed to. In the 14 years I’ve spent on Earth, 14 of those years have been spent without moving. Yup, I was born with broken legs. Not broken like broken, nobody broke them, let’s say, my femur didn’t get the memo when the other bones in my body were coming together.
I spend my days being carried about or on a wheelchair. It used to bother me. I hate having to rely so much on other people, on family and friends around me. The way they would look at me with doleful eyes, like they could never imagine being in my position. For as long as I can remember, mum hammered into my head how blessed I am. She is in no position to tell me that, I told her that a few weeks ago.
I guess the upside about being constrained is my growing appreciation to my environment. I would spend hours staring out my bedroom window, envying the birds. I sometimes feel like a stamp on the corner of an envelop.
The times I spend looking outside the car window are my best. I enjoy making up backstories for the random people I usually see along the road.
For the blind man begging at the side of the bridge, he’s actually a cyclops. He uses his blindness to distract people from his third and real eye. The man with no arms actually has tentacles underneath his clothes and the crippled boy being carried about can walk. Yeah. Being able to walk would be the best super power backstory ever.
There are times when the faces change, the stories change with them. I noticed that one face remained the same. Day by day, week by week as I sit staring out of the back seat window of my mother’s car, I notice the crippled boy being carried about until one day I don’t. For whatever reason his absence plagued me. Even though we had never spoken, I felt, believed our circumstance made us the same.
‘Mum, what happened to the crippled boy?’
‘What crippled boy?’
‘The one that’s always carried about.’
My mum looked at me through her rear view mirror like I had grown an extra head.
‘Where did you see him?’
‘He was always carried about around the bridge.’
I watched my mother’s expression, there was no
change. She had no idea who he was. I returned my gaze to the backseat window, quiet and remained that way till we got home.
Without a thought at the time, I felt grateful and blessed that my life was not switched with that of the crippled boy being carried about unnoticed by the world, except… in a way… I am aren’t I?